Parenting Story

Parenting Story

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas Wrap Up

I can't believe that Christmas was over a month ago already! The whole day passed in a whirlwind of activity leaving us all stuffed and exhausted.
We made a trip to Dubuque to see my mom on December 23rd. We had plans to take her to a hotel for a little getaway, but in the end decided that it would be better just to stay home. We went to lunch and did some shopping before just relaxing at her house. We convinced her to come back home with us and once the kids went to bed she helped me with all of my last minute preparations for Christmas morning. I wish that we could have kidnapped her for the weekend, but she left the next morning to finish her rounds at each of my siblings houses.
On Christmas eve we went to grammy and grampy's for the traditional Christmas Eve dinner of Happy Joe's pizza. All of the great grandparents, great aunts, great uncles and cousins were there. We got home just in time to tuck the kids into their beds and prepare for the mornings festivities.

Randy and I awoke by 6:30 and only waited until 7am to wake the kids. Randy woke up Reese first because she was already stirring. Then they went into Aidan's room to wake him up. Randy said, "It's Christmas!" To which Aidan replied, "I know." Then Randy said, "I think you have some presents!" Again Aidan responded, "I know."
They sauntered down the stairs and were shocked to see their gifts!

Reese had pajamas on when she went to bed, but woke up Christmas morning without them! Which is why I took very few pictures of the kids opening gifts at our house! We had all of the presents open and had started playing by 7:30. We had just over an hour to play and then we dressed and headed out the door for our second Christmas of the day at grammy and grampy's house. We had a delicious breakfast of omelets and cheesy potatoes before starting the gift opening. Everyone was so generous and our kids were spoiled with tons of new clothes and toys!


Randy and Aidan

After hanging out to play with their new toys and visit with the fam, we headed home. I tried to organize the new haul while the kids played with all of their gifts. After fixing them a quick lunch, we sent them to bed for a nap. A few short hours later, we were waking them up to get dressed for yet another Christmas get together. We went to Randy's grandparents house for a traditional Christmas dinner of turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and much more. After everyone had eaten, we made our way to the basement to open gifts. With 4 great-grandkids, 9 grandkids(plus spouses), 3 children (plus spouses) it is a very large group. The great-grandkids passed out presents and everyone dug right in, throwing paper everywhere. Once again, we were all very spoiled!

Waiting patiently to hand out presents!

Recently, we had Christmas with my family. Although I hate not being able to see my family on Christmas Day, it is nice to be able to spread the holiday out a little so that we are not rushed and can spend the day with them relaxed and in the moment. We had a late lunch and openened gifts after resting our bellies for a little while. Then the kids played with their cousins while we enjoyed the company of my brothers, sister and the spouses.

More cousins!

My mom's reactions to her gift, a barn quilt that I painted for her.
We are so lucky to have such wonderful families and to be able to enjoy the holidays with each of them!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Not very good at this game

Aidan was examing a gift to him from his grammy. As he shook and looked over the medium sized square box, I asked him if he had any guesses to what it may be? He responded, "A fire truck!" There is not a chance that the box contained a fire truck, but I guess we now know what gift is tops on his list!

Leaving on a jet plane

When I picked Reese up from preschool on Tuesday, the teacher asked if she would be attending the holiday party on Thursday. I answered yes, and she replied, "I wasn't sure because Reese said she was going on a plane and might be back by Sunday." When I got Reese into the car, I asked her why she told the teacher she was going on a plane ride. She responded, "Because I've never been and I want to!"

No kisses!

Every night as we are tucking the kids into bed, Reese jumps into Aidan's bed and pins him down to give him a kiss. While she is doing that he is giggling and yelling, "no kisses, no kisses!" The other night he had had enough. After Reese planted a big smooch on his cheek and took off for her own room, he sat up and declared, "That's crap!"

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Best Birthday Ever!

A few weeks ago, I celebrated my 31st birthday! I thought that it was going to be a pretty low key weekend, with some shopping with my husband and kids and then a visit to see my mom. I tried to schedule a quick haircut on Saturday morning before we left town. The quick haircut soon turned into 2 hours. Not only was my husband upset at having had to entertain the kids during that time period, but he was also upset that we were getting a late start to the day. We arrived at the mall in Iowa City about 90 minutes later and went staight to Motherhood Maternity so that I could look for some new maternity clothes. I found a few items and headed to the changing room. Both kids went in with me and kept going in and out of the curtain. At one time Reese popped her head out and shouted, "Grandma Potter!" My mom and sister had been texting my husband to see where we were and were trying to suprise me. It suprised me alright! I had to quickly get dressed and get out to see them!

After a bunch of suprised hugs and chatter, I paid for my purchases and we were off shopping. We took a break for lunch soon after. My kids were getting tired and cranky, so my husband offered to take them back to the hotel for a nap, so that we could get some serious shopping done! I know, he's a keeper! So they left and we finished up at the mall. Then we hit a few other stores before my husband texted me that the kids were awake. We were pretty tired, and getting hungry, so we decided to go to the hotel and figure something out for dinner. We ended up ordering pizzas because it was rainy and cold. We sat in the room visiting while the kids played in forts they built out of the blankets and pillows. The kids each suprised me with a box. Reese's gift contained tickets for her and I to go to the Disney on Ice show the next day. Aidan's gift included tickets to go to a movie together. Soon after dinner, my mom and sister headed home. I took the kids down to the pool, but the pool was overcrowded and cold, so we returned to the room to watch a movie. By the time the movie was over, we were ready for bed.

The kids did not sleep very well, so we got a very early start and headed back home. It worked out well, as they got an early nap, waking up just in time for Reese and I to head to the Disney Princesses on Ice show. Here is a picture of my little princess waiting for the show to start:

The show was amazing. The costumes and sets were unbelieveable!

Though the show was advertised targeting young girls, I think that my son would also have enjoyed it. Not only were each of the princesses represented, but also The Incredibles, Peter Pan, and Lion King to name a few. I hope to find a movie that he will be interested in, so that we can have our date soon!

After the show, we met my husband and son at my in-laws. There the kids helped to bake and decorate a cake for me.

My husband knows me so well, and did such a wonderful job planning the whole weekend. It was great just spending time with all of the people that I love the most! It was by far my best birthday ever!

Monday, December 12, 2011


Reese recently complained after I picked her up from preschool that school was boring. I responded that in just a few weeks, she would be home with me for two whole weeks and then she would know what boring really is!

Not Santa's Friend

Aidan has really come into his terrible two's lately! He throws a fit when he doesn't get his way. We have been taking advantage of the upcoming holiday to try to curb this behavior. After he throws his fit and receives the appropriate consequence (usually a timeout on the stairs or in his room) we comment that Santa Claus was watching and that he would be disappointed that Aidan was not listening to his mom and dad. We also remind him that if his behavior doesn't change, Santa Claus may not bring him any presents. Aidan's response to this information was not quite what I expected, "Santa doesn't bring me any presents. I not Santa's friend!"

Dumbest stuff on wheels

Dinner was all ready and I called upstairs to the kids that it was time to eat. They were so busy playing, that they did not hear me. I went upstairs and found the bedroom door shut. I opened the door and the kids looked up guiltily from a pile of pillows on the floor. I figured that they had been jumping off of the bed and into the pillows, but I asked anyways. Reese answered, "We were just playing dumbest stuff on wheels!"

Saturday, November 19, 2011

My kryptonite

Randy and I were talking about the baby the other day and how different this pregnancy has been from the other two, when he remarked, "Yeah, I finally found your kryptonite!" referring to my fatique!

Before getting pregnant I was always the last one to bed. Randy would fall in soon after the kids did, while I often stayed up until 12 or even 1 in the morning. Not only was this time for me to catch up on cleaning or other projects around the house, it was my time for me! My time to watch whatever I wanted on the tv, play around on the internet and read my favorite blogs, download, organize and create things from my favorite family pictures.

Being unable to stay up past 10pm has put me seriously behind on housework. Most nights I go to bed with dishes in the sink and loads of laundry left undone. My husband enjoys that I go to bed at the same time as him and stay there, even though I often end up mumbling and falling asleep on him rather than carrying on any kind of conversation. I have not had any spare time to work on the crafts that I enjoy, but I am very thankful for the little baby that is developing as a result of this "kryptonite"!

Just clone me!

The other day while grammy was tucking Reese in for her nap, she told her how much she was going to miss "her Reese" when she starts Kindergarten in the fall.

After thinking for a few moments, Reese responded, "Well, grammy, you will have the new baby."

Grammy immediately replied, "That is not the same as my Reese!"

Reese thought for a moment and said, "Well, we could name the new baby Reese!"

Monday, November 14, 2011

I stand corrected!

The kids were ecstatic to find new toys, including a play drum and horns, at my mom's this weekend. At one point, Reese was banging on the drum and playing a horn while marching around the room. I said, "Reese, you are a one-man band!"

Without skipping a beat, Reese replied, "I'm not a man!"

"Sorry, make that one-woman band!"

Sunday, November 13, 2011

So Drama

After watching the above video, Reese exclaimed, "I am so drama!"

Yes honey, you are "so drama".

Monday, November 7, 2011

Scooby Doo

While out shopping over the weekend, we noticed that they still had lots of Halloween costumes leftover marked down 75%. We started looking through the costumes to see if we could find something for the kids for next year. Reese had trouble choosing between several different princess/fairy/butterfly costumes. In the end we chose a purple princess costume and a black and pink butterfly costume. I found several different costumes that I thought Aidan would like- dinosaur, cowboy and race car driver. Finally, Randy came across a Scooby Doo costume and Aidan was so excited. As soon as we got home both of the kids had to get their costumes out and try them on. We knew that Reese's butterfly costume was probably going to be too small to last until next year, which is why we got her the second costume in a larger size. The Scooby costume looked large, but when I put it on Aidan, it was already tight, definitely not going to make it until next year!

Though it may not fit next year, we are definitely getting our use out of it now. He has not taken it off, even to sleep, in the past 3 days!

I can see Christmas!

The other day while at their grammy's somebody said, "Christmas is right around the corner."

Aidan took the saying literally and ran around the corner to see if he could see Christmas coming.

You have to love kids!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Pregnancy Brain

Twice this week, I have forgotten to wash my hair during my morning shower. I wet my hair down and then completely forgot to put soap in and rinse it out. I only notice the mistake as I am drying my hair and though it is dry it still looks shiny and greasy!

I had a third episode of pregnancy brain today as I went out to lunch with my family. I made my order and went to sit at the table with the kids while my husband waited for the food. When he arrived with two whoppers and asked me which one was mine, I protested that I did not order a whopper, but a whopper junior. He immediately told me, I distinctly remember you asking for a #1. I reviewed the menu board as we were leaving and confirmed that I did indeed order a whopper and not the whopper junior as I had thought.

I do not remember having pregnancy brain so much with my previous pregnancies, so I'm not sure if I should attribute it to the fact that I have two kids already or that this pregnancy is just that much different.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Skeleton out of the closet

I have been keeping a little secret!

We are expecting our third child in June 2012!

When we were pregnant with our first child, we also happened to be moving to my homeotwn and looking for houses. My mom and sister were going to open houses with us one Sunday and I told them, "We better find something soon because we will only have 9 months to get it ready." It was only a minute before it clicked and they both started screaming and crying!
When we were pregnant the second time, our oldest got in on revealing the secret. I happened to find a big sister shirt at a garage sale that was the perfect size. She wore it the next time we went to visit our parents, who were ecstatic at the news.
This past summer, while reading a blog, I came upon this idea for a skeleton t-shirt with a fetus to reveal a pregnancy and thought that it would fun. I bookmarked it and hoped that it would work in our time frame to reveal the pregnancy we were planning.
I was ecstatic when I found out in early October that I was indeed pregnant and immediately got to work on my own version of the shirt for upcoming Halloween festivities. Unfortunately, I do not own a silhouette machine, but I was not about to let that stop me. I found an image of a rib cage online and blew it up on my printer. I then cut out the image and traced it onto some scrap fabric. I did the same with an image of a fetus. I then cut out both images and placed them on a black shirt I rarely wore. After getting the placement just right, I pinned them in place and sewed them in place.
I wore the shirt when I went to visit my family just before Halloween. My mom thought that it was absolutely adorable. My brothers needed an explanation of the shirt! Everybody was so taken by suprise and so happy for us.

I have been feeling pretty good for the most part. I feel very nauseous around mealtimes and have no appetite for anything other than very bland foods. I have also been very tired, no doubt due to having two very active children to run after. The other day after work, dinner, cleaning up and bath time, I lay in bed with the kids to watch a movie. My husband walked in and exclaimed, "What, are you tired?" He is so suprised to see me like this because I am generally up later at night and out of bed earlier than him in the morning. It is funny because he is always telling me that I need to find a hobby so that I am too busy to decorate and paint the house. I remind him that the house is my hobby. I told him last night that keeping me pregnant would be one good way to keep me from doing any projects on the house because I have been too wiped to clean, let alone take on any crafty projects!

Bedtime Ritual

A few weeks ago we inadvertantly started a new bedtime ritual. After reading the kids a bedtime story, they both stand at the top of the stairs and scream, "Daddy!" As they run for a hiding spot, Randy starts stomping up the stairs like a giant, sometimes adding a little, "Fe, fi, fo fum!" Usually the kids run and hide under the covers in Aidan's room. Randy pretends to have trouble finding them and then tackles them in tickles.
Last night Aidan tried to quickly get under a table in the hallway and hide under the skirt. Unfortunately, as he was getting situated, Randy came up the steps and caught him before he was fully covered.
Tonight, Aidan ran for the cover of his blanket, right in the doorway to his room! Randy was a good sport and pretended to trip over the blanket pretending that he had no idea Aidan was inside the blanket hiding.
I absolutely love this little ritual and can't wait to see all of the hiding places that the kids think up!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Daddy's girl

As we left the Halloween parade the other night, Aidan said, "That was fun parade mommy!"

Reese replied, "Yeah, but it would be more fun if daddy would come."

Spanish lesson

The other day we drove to Dubuque to watch the annual Halloween parade with my family. As we exited town driving the way we usually go to go to my mom's, Reese spoke out, "This isn't the way to the parade, this is the way to grandma Potter's! Dubuque is just Spanish for grandma Potter's!"

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Best friends

I was running around grabbing up last minute things to take out on the boat when I told Reese to go ahead and get into the car.

She immediately responded, "Mommy, you are my best friend and friends wait for each other." Then she grabbed my hand and walked with me to finish grabbing up items for our outing.

Growing up too fast!

Reese: "Mommy, what is college?"

Me: "College,is a school you go to when you are older."

Reese: "I am going to go there pretty soon."

I simultaneously want to hold her to this promise, yet dread the day that she will go away and not be here with me everyday!

Can I get a few less Mondays?

The other day while riding home from pre-school, Reese began to sing me her "days of the week song": "Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Monday, Tuesday, Monday, Sunday, all the days of the week!"

Obviously, she does not quite have the order of the days down. From the way she sang it, it would seem that Monday is her favorite day!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Friends Names

Upon entering tumbling class this week, Reese ran into one of the other girls in the class. SHe immediately told me, "Mom, that girls' name is Santa."

I responded, "No, honey. There is only one Santa."

Reese: "Mom, her name is Santa!"

Me: "OK Reese."

Then the kids lined up and the teacher began to do the roll call. They got to Reese's friend Santa and called, "Samantha".

Jabber box

Just a few weeks ago, when I would call my mom the kids would beg to talk to her and then spend the entire time on the phone nodding their heads and grunting their responses to her questions about their day.

Last night, while driving home from Reese's tumbling class, I gave Reese the phone to call Grandma Potter....and she talked her ear off! Reese blabbed on and on and on. She did give me the phone so that I could say a quick hello, but then she was crying for the phone back immediately!

Reese's independence in public has increased as well. Whenever people used to ask her a question, she would look to me to answer or kind of grunt a response. She would never approach people, even kids her own age. Now she often responds with very lengthy answers when people ask her a question. She also has several "friends" in her preschool and tumbling classes that she talks with and tells me about.

It has been so fun to see this transformation in Reese from shy, quiet, mommy's girl to outgoing, friendly and talkative individual. I credit a lot of the transformation to Reese's time at preschool and also involvement in activities with girls her own age (swim and tumbling). I can't wait to see her interactions with her peers as she starts kindergarten and 1st grade.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Golden Hair

Reese took her bath tonight after watching the movie "Tangled". There is one scene in the movie where Rapunzel is stuck inside a cavern that is filling up with water. She starts singing and her hair lights up so that they can see to unblock the entrance to the cavern. While Reese was playing in the tub, she began singing, "Flower gleam and glow. Let your powers show. Make the clock reverse. Bring back what once was mine." While singing she was really getting into it, closing her eyes and rolling her shoulders. She looked up to see me watching her and asked, "Mommy, did my hair start glowing?" I said yes even though I was giggling and could not keep a straight face. She believed me and immediately asked, "Really?" I couldn't keep it up and finally told her,"no, but that she did a great job singing!" It was so cute!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Body Art

Soon after I dropped the kids off at their grammy's, I got a call. My mother-in-law was laughing so hysterically, that she could barely tell me what happened. Sometime after I left, Reese showed off a small sticker that she had placed over her belly button. Debbie asked her what it was? To which Reese replied, matter of factly, "That is my sticker, I hided it from mommy!"

This girl is going to be a handful!

Important too!

While driving home today, the kids and I were having a discussion about pre-school. Reese again took the opportunity to take a dig at Aidan because she goes to pre-school and he does not.

Reese: "I go to school because I am an important girl!"

Aidan: "No. I important g...."

Me: (interrupting) "Aidan, are you an important boy?"

Aidan: "No. I important cowboy boy!"

Where do they come up with this stuff?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Kind of a big deal!

As we were getting ready to leave the house this morning, Aidan asked if he could go to Pre-school. I began explaining to him that he was not old enough and that I would take him to Pre-school as soon as he was old enough. As I was trying to calm him down and divert his attention with all of the other fun things he would be doing today, Reese piped up with, "I am just more important!" Definitely not the words of encouragement that Aidan was needing!
He was so distracted by toys and friends when I dropped him off at Grammys' this morning that he didn't even give me a kiss goodbye. It was a totally different story when I returned a few hours later to drop off Reese. As soon as we walked in the door from Pre-School, Aidan came walking up to me, shoes in hand, asking, "I go to Pre-School mommy?"
The Pre-School teacher asked how old Aidan was at the open house we attended before school started. She informed us that they also have a 3 year old program. At the time I didn't think much of it, but now I am starting to think that we are going to have to sign him up if it can at all coordinate with the times that Reese is there. I really don't think that he can make it until February, let alone 2 more years!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Future Triple Threat

My recent vidoes of Reese show that she is sure to be a triple threat in the future! Singing, dancing and acting: whatever the activity, Reese loves to be in the lime light.

Monday, September 12, 2011


We had a very busy weekend this past weekend! By Sunday afternoon, the kids were incredibly crabby and in desperate need of a nap. I brought them home from the beach around 3pm and put them to bed after a quick bath. At about 6 they were still sleeping. I went upstairs to wake them up and found Aidan laying on the side of the bed in a most unusual position. I had to take a picture before waking him up:

After snapping his picture, I ran into Reese's room to snap a picture before she had a chance to wake up:

I hated to wake them up, but knew that if I didn't they would be up in the middle of the night!
After this week, I am so ready for the cooler temperatures and lazy weekends spent at home! Bring on fall!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Everyone Poops

My main goal over the summer was to potty train my son. While we were successful in getting him to "peep" on the toilet, pooping on the toilet was not even close! He does let us know that he has to poop by telling us several times that he has to go "peep" but not doing anything when he sits on the toilet. Recently he has strictly been pooping during naptime or at night when he wears a pullup to bed. When he "woke up" about 30 minutes later than normal one day with poop all up his back and all over his room, I realized that he was avoiding using the toilet. Since he is not motivated by candy or sweets, and is completely obsessed with matchbox cars, I decided that I would use cars as a motivator. I immediately went out and bought several cars and put them in a bucket in the bathroom. I promised Aidan that he could pick out one car everytime that he pooped on the toilet and told him that I would take one car away every time he pooped in his underpants/pullups. He immediately wanted to sit on the toilet and poop, so I was sure I was mom of the year that he understood the deal and would be on his way to being fully trained. He sat until bedtime but could not go, so I put him to bed and told him we could try in the morning. The next day at grammy's he had a potty accident, which he had not done in a very long time, so I took a car away from him and put it in the bucket in the bathroom. That very same night, he told me that he had to poop and actually went on the toilet. Yay, he got his car back! Last night Aidan told me that he had to go poop and after getting him to the bathroom, I discovered that he had already started to go in his pants. I was very disappointed and contemplated taking a car away again, but since he had diarrhea, I gave him some slack and actually let him pick a car for finishing on the toilet. I am hoping that now we are really on our way to being fully trained!

First tumbling lesson

Reese is such a performer and is always dancing and singing around the house, so I thought that she would enjoy taking a class in dance or gymnastics where she could learn some basic skills, be active and have fun. We signed her up at a local dance company and she started a tumbling class tonight. They started the class with some pretty simple stretching, grabbing their toes and bending and stretching their legs. As they were swinging their legs in the air, Reese kept checking to see if I was looking. Next she instructed the girls to lie on their bellies and arch their head and feet to try to get them to touch. Reese did pretty well at this and was doing a great job following directions. She seemed to be having a very good time! After a few minutes of that, the teacher had the girls lie on their backs with their knees up and hands by their heads. She instructed them to push their belly buttons to the sky and make a table. Reese had some difficulty in attempting this skill and needed several remiders to keep her hands up by her head. She kept doing more of a crab walk, so the teacher had to keep moving her hands up by her head. Reese kept trying but got very frustrated and soon started crying. My heart broke as she sat there on the mat telling me that she just couldn't do it. I tried to tell her that it was ok and to just keep practicing. The teacher gave her a nice hug and some words of encouragement and then they were on to the next skill. Thankfully, grammy Debbie has worked with the kids on somersaults, so Reese was able to perform this skill without much help from the teacher, which boosted her confidence a bit. After somersaults, they moved on to cartwheels. As well as Reese could do somersaults, she was completely opposite on cartwheels. The teacher showed them to fall to the side, touch both hands to the mat and then both feet. Reese took fall to the mat literally and kept falling onto the mat like a ton of bricks! After a few attempts she was very upset and crying again. I wanted so bad to go out on the floor and guide her, but did not feel that that would be appropriate. She was so upset that the teacher had another talk with her and then sent her to get a drink and regroup. When she came back they began hoping on one leg, which Reese did more as a !skip. Finally, they did an obstacle course: slide, crawl through tunnel, balance beam and jump off of the trampoline. Reese did the course 4 times in the time that the other girls did 2! I couldn't believe the energy she had left in her!

Finally they sat back in a circle and the teacher asked each girl to name a hero. She gave the example of anything from superman, to a cartoon character to mom or dad. The first girl said her mom was her hero. When Reese's turn came, she answered dad! I'm thinking that she thought that mom was already taken, so she went with the next best option! Haha! No, it didn't suprise me because she has always been a daddy's girl!

All in all, I think that the class went pretty well. I explained to Reese on the way home that we don't need to cry if we can't do something in class, we will just practice it at home and in class. I revealed to her that I still do not know how to do a cartwheel because I never practiced it, to which she responded, "I will teach you mommy!" I am glad that she actively participated in the class and really seemed to want to learn the skills. It did upset me that she got so worked up over not being able to do something immediately, but that is the way she is with anything, puzzles, getting dressed, playing a game. She is very much a perfectionist like me and gets frustrated very easily if she does not excel at something. Hopefully, this experience will teach her to keep practicing and to have a little more patience. Though if she told me tomorrow that she never wanted to go to dance again, I would respect her decision.

Shots are fun!

I took Aidan back to the doctor tonight to have his ears rechecked. Since the ear infection was cleared, they went ahead with the vaccination that we originally had scheduled 2 weeks ago. He fought me as I laid him down on the table and exposed his leg for the nurse to give him the shot. He gave me a pained look and started to cry as the needle went in. When it was finished I gave him back his paper and pen to doodle on and carried him out to the car. His face was still red but he seemed to have forgotten all about the shot. As I was buckling him into his seat, he said,
"That was fun at the doctor mom."

Obviously it was a lot of fun, because as I tucked him into bed tonight he said, "I go back to the doctor?" Not sure if he really enjoys going to the doctor or if maybe he feels special having all of the attention on him and not having to share with his older sister!

Friday, September 2, 2011


We were playing outside when Aidan told me that he had to "peep". His voice sounded urgent and he was grabbing himself. Rather than waste time taking him into the house, I quickly pulled his pants down so he could do his business. He started urinating and he said, "Haha, I get you rock, haha!" I looked and he was urinating right onto a rock in the driveway. He still usually sits down on the potty chair to urinate, but this definitely affirms that putting cheerios in the toilet could be an excellent tool for teaching Aidan to aim in the toilet while standing.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Grammy Aunt Linda

While boating with Linda Sunday afternoon, Aidan kept saying that he was going to go to Grammy Aunt Linda's. I joked back that maybe Randy and I need to plan a date night so that he and Reese could go to Linda's for a visit.

Monday morning when he woke up, he immediately declared that he was going to go to Grammy Aunt Linda's. I explained to him that she was working and that mommy needed to take him to grammy's so that I could go to work.

When we got to grammy's later that morning he refused to get out of his carseat, "No I stay here, I not go to grammy's! I go to Linda's!"
I pulled him out of the car kicking and screaming and took him into the house. I tried to tell him that we couldn't go to Linda's because she was at work, but he was not having it. Finally, I took him into the toy room to distract him with toys. Thankfully it worked and he began playing trucks with another boy and temporarily forgot about Linda.

That is until we got home later that night. Though I was joking about asking Linda to watch the kids so that Randy and I could enjoy a night out, I think that we are going to have to do something so that Aidan can get some time with his favorite grammy aunt Linda, and it better be soon.

First Day....Almost

For weeks we have been counting down the days until Reese starts Pre-School. Reese has been counting down with increasing excitement while I have been wondering how this time has come so quickly!
This morning Reese woke up and she was so excited to get all dressed up and ready for school. We ate breakfast and then she picked out her first day dress. She got dressed and sat quietly while I fixed her hair. Finally, she was all ready and it was time for a few pictures. She started out striking this adorable pose:

Then I had her put on her backpack and stand by the front door:

She was still all smiles when I had little brother join in:

We took pictures of her freshly painted toes, her hair style and her backpack and we were all ready to go about 10 minutes early. The sky was turning black and you could already hear the rumble of thunder, so we headed out a few minutes early to avoid the rain. Unfortunately by the time we got to grammy's the rain had started. I dropped the kids off and Randy was going to pick Reese up 2 hours later to drop her off at Pre-School. He texted me to confirm what time to drop her off and I thought we were all set.
Then at about 9:30 I get a text message with this picture:

Notice that the smile is gone. Randy took her to Pre-School only to find out that we were 2 weeks early! Reese was so disappointed! They ended up getting more information while they were there, that included a supply list and dates. He kept asking her if she was ok, but he said that she looked like if she talked she would start crying. When they returned to grammy's Reese kept telling her that, "This just isn't going to work." and "Mommy was wrong!" I was sure that I was going to be in big trouble when I went to pick her up after work, but suprisingly that was not the case. She had just woken up when I got there and she ran up to give me a big hug. I said that I was sorry that she didn't get to start school and she told me, "It just didn't work out." She was such a trooper through all the disappointment! On a happy note, I feel that we are ready for the chaos of getting ready and out the door on time on Pre-School days. And if we aren't, we already have 1st day pics!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Hi ho! Hi ho! It's off to work I go

I had the following conversation with Aidan this morning:

Aidan: "Mommy, what are you doing?"

Me: "Getting ready for work."

Aidan: (throws his hands down at his side) "UHHHH!"

I like to think that it is because he would rather that we stay home together, but whatever the reason it was so cute!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Gone Fishing!

I have wanted to make this magnetic fishing game since I first saw it at Frugal Decor Mom way back in April. On a recent trip to JoAnn's I found three coordinating fabric remnants for less than $5 and knew that they would be perfect! A few days later, while at Walgreen's, I spied several sand buckets on clearance for $0.50 each. You bet your booty I snatched up every last one that they had!

Finding such great deals on the supplies that I needed was the push that I needed to get to work. I immediately looked up the original tutorial here, traced the fish shape off of my computer screen and got to work tracing and cutting. I whipped together about 25 fish and stuffed them. Then I got stuck. I did not have coordinating thread to close up the hole from turning and stuffing the fish. I tried white thread and it looked awful! Also, I needed washers for the magnet to stick to.

The kids were so excited to try out the game and I would not let them play with the fish because I could see fiberfill all over the house! I received the motivation that I needed to get them put together when the neighbor invited the kids and I over and showed them how to cast and reel a fishing pole. This may not seem like much of a motivator, but this activity kept the kids entertained for over an hour! I ran out and bought coordinating thread and begged some washers off Randy's grandpa- he has an abundance of them in his garage and was happy to donate to my project!
Once I had all of my supplies, I spent the kids naptimes stitching the fish closed and adding the washers to their noses. They are so cute!

I was able to make enough fish and acquire enough buckets that I plan to give one to each of my nephews as well!

My kids were so excited to finally be able to play with their fish! Unfortunately they prefer to run around in nothing but underwear while at home (which I am ok with because it saves on laundry!) so I was unable to take any pictures! I plan to give one to my nephew for his birthday this weekend, so hopefully I will get some pictures then!

I have really enjoyed using my sewing machine and have plans to make more fish once I find some more fabric. I would also like to make some like these with the math/counting manipulatives like Counting Coconuts did on her blog. What projects have you finished lately?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


After spending the past 10 weeks at home with the kids, I was at a point where I was actually kind of looking forward to going back to work next week. The bickering between the two kids has become almost constant. When they are not fighting, I am tripping over them while I try to do something because they are practically in my pockets. To say the least, I was getting frustrated. Today I had to go to work for a full day of registration (10 hours)! When I dropped the kids off at their grammy's, Aidan refused to get out of his carseat. He sat there and said, "No mommy, I stay here!" I unbuckled him and carried him into the house where he was kind of distracted by his cousins, but still clung to me and required extra kisses before I left.
When I arrived to pick them up, Aidan was waiting at the door, waving to me. As soon as I came in the door, both kids practically knocked me down in a huge bear hug. Aidan was so excited to show me what he had been playing with and both kids were talking a mile a minute. They were so excited to see me and I was equally excited to see them. Today made me realize that though I do love being at home with the kids, it is definitely good for all of us to have some time apart, whether that is in going to work or on a date with my husband.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Fairy- The Best Week of Summer

This past week was the Mississippi Valley Fair, the greatest fair in the state in my opinion. We bought our fun cards which allowed us entrance into the fairgrounds and to each of the concerts during the entire week for just $40. The fun card is definitely worth it, as the acts that we were able to see would easily be $40 each in concert. Tuesday was the first day and we had a late start as Randy did not get home from work until later. We had about an hour before the concert started, so we wandered around the fairgrounds taking in all of the sights (rides, animals, music, etc). We found a grassy spot in the grandstand for the concert where we could hear the music, but the kids could run around and play. It was so hot, around 95 degrees, but the kids would not sit still!

The second night we were able to get to the fairgrounds early enough to go to the petting zoo and watch a few midway shows. Blake Shelton performed for an almost record crowd while the kids enjoyed playing with their glow sticks from aunt Steffy!

The third night we left the kids with aunt Steffy so that we could enjoy a date night. I was really looking forward to Darius Rucker's performance and he did not disappoint. Though I was thankful to be able to enjoy the concert without being interrupted with having to go to the bathroom or get snacks or toys, I definitely teared up when he started singing, "It won't be like this for long".

The next night we took it easy and the kids played in Aunt Linda's van. When the concert started (Steve Miller Band) the kids and I took a walk around the fairgrounds. We checked out the rides and sought shelter when it started to rain. Fortunately they had a display where you could watch baby chicks hatch. Soon after we decided to head home.

Saturday night we also hung out by the cars while the kids played. There were a lot of horses walking past from the barns to the judging area and the kids stopped whatever they were doing to just watch them walk past. It was so funny when they started to play Limbo under some parking tape. Aidan just kind of stuck his belly out and walked under the tape. So cute!

We were pretty tired from the week, so we sat and listened to the music of the Charlie Daniels Band while the kids played.
Sunday was the final day of the fair. We spent the early afternoon boating, so we got to the fairgrounds just before the concert. Miranda Lambert was on stage and I was really excited for Reese to see a female singer. Though she was excited to see a cowgirl, she was much more entertained playing with the cars in the dirt.

We were worn out from the weeks events at the fairy (nicknamed that by Aidan) and the kids were absolutely delirious, so we went home and went straight to bed. The kids woke up the next morning and asked if we could go to the fairy, so I would guess that they enjoyed it! I only hope that next year will be as much fun as this year was!

Competitive Spirit

Randy's aunt Linda has started a game with the kids where she playfully teases them that she beat them wherever we may see her. When we went to Indiana recently, they accompanied us on the trip. When we ran into each other in the lobby, Linda would point her finger at the kids and say, "I beat you here!" The kids would do the same to her and it would continue back and forth. This past week at the fair, whenever we arrived at the meeting point, Linda would start with the game and the kids playfully joined in.

Recently, Aidan got out his cell phone and I could only assume that he was calling Aunt Linda because he said, "I beat you here!"

The game has made lots of things a competition at home. Whichever kid finishes eating a meal first, proudly announces, "I beat you!" On the way up to naps in the afternoon and bed in the evening, the kids race each other up the stairs. Though I am not very fond of the race through meal time, but I am definitely not going to complain about their willingness to go to bed!


Today I took both kids to the dentist for a cleaning. I spent the day before prepping them for the appointment which was easier than I expected since Reese was able to recount her last visit (almost 2 years ago) step by step as if it had happened yesterday. I asked her if she would go first and show Aidan how it was done and she was more than happy to oblige. They both walked around the house practicing opening their mouths wide and smiling to show off their teeth.
When we arrived at the office, they asked a few questions and then called both kids back at the same time. They asked Reese if she would be ok by herself so that mommy could sit with Aidan. She was very brave and hopped right up into the seat shooshing Aidan and I onto the next room. The hygienists gave each of the kids a pair of sunglasses to put on to protect their eyes from the bright lights and from overspray from their tools. We laid Aidan across our laps so that his head was in the dentists lap during the cleaning. He was very cooperative and opened his mouth wide before she even asked! He didn't squirm once during the cleaning and was very obedient. He was so good at showing off his smile that we had to ask him several times to close his mouth and bite down so she could check his alignment.
By the time Aidan was finished, Reese had already had her cleaning. We followed the dentist into Reese's room and helped to get a few x-rays of Reese's bad front tooth. Then they finished her exam and allowed both kids to pick out a toy and stickers.

The next day while brushing our teeth, Reese stopped and said, "Oh, wait, I forgot my sunglasses!" It was so funny! Now she thinks she needs to be a little diva and wear her glasses while brushing her teeth at home!

Sound effects

While Aidan was playing cars the other day, I sat down with him and grabbed a car. I started pushing it around and added some sound effects, "mrrrr, mrrr!"

Aidan: "Not mrrr, mrrr! That's not a truck!"

Me: "Oh, what is it then?"

Aidan: "Vroom, vroom!"

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Little Fish

Over the course of the summer, both of the kids have gained many skills and developed much more confidence in the water. Aidan loves to stick his face in the water and blow bubbles. He also kicks and paddles his way around the pool by himself with floaties on. Reese is able to touch, so we allow her to walk around the pool without floaties on as long as somebody is watching her closesly. She loves having the freedom to hop around the pool without the restriction of flotation devices. She enjoys jumping into the pool to see how big of a splash she can make. She has also learned to lean forward and use her arms and legs to propel herself forward. Finally, she is comfortable floating on her back in the pool. It has really been a lot of fun now that the kids can be a little more independent. Though Aidan may be a little too confident! He recently climbed into the pool by himself, though I was yelling at him from the side of the pool to wait. I immediately jumped in after him and pulled him up out of the water, though he had done pretty well at keeping himself bobbing just under the surface of the water! After getting him calmed down, I explained to him that he needed to either wait and go in with an adult or have a floaty on to get in the water. After scolding him, I immediately took him back into the pool to keep him from becoming afraid of the water. I realized soon after that fear would not be a concern as he fought me to let go of him so that he could swim on his own! He wants so bad to be like his big sister!

All Boy

In watching Aidan play with his cars and trucks I am amazed at how he plays. For example, he put rocks into a skid loader and dumped them from the bucket of the loader into a dump truck! This is not something that we see frequently and it amazed me that he was able to play with the toys in a way that mimics how they are actually used. It also kills me to listen to the sound effects that he uses when playing with his trucks. His sound effects include everything from honking to crashing and engine noises. While watching movies, he is completely oblivious to everything except for any locomotives that may be in the picture: cars, trucks, trains and even tractors. When riding in the car, he watches out the window like a hawk and points out all of the vehicles he finds interesting. He even encourages Randy to speed up and pass certain semis and trucks so that he can get a better look.
Recently, while playing with a large box of cars and trucks at Grammy Aunt Linda's, Aidan lined all of the cars and trucks up according to size and type. He had a line each of race cars, trucks, semi's and tractors and all arranged from smallest to largest. Of course he also still loves to play with his train table and all of his trains and to watch the trains that drive by our house daily. It absolutely melts my heart when he looks at me and asks, "Mommy, you play trucks with me?" I love that boy!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Story time

I went to the library before our recent trip to Indiana and picked up a book that I have been dying to read, "The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo". The kids were so well behaved during the 6 hour drive that I was able to read the entire book during the trip.

Today Reese grabbed a kids book and sat down to read. After a few minutes she looked up and said, "I'm reading like mommy!"

I didn't understand what she meant, so I asked her, "How are you reading like mommy?"

She responded, "I'm not saying anything, I just look at the pages."

I almost laughed out loud! She didn't understand that I was reading even though I was not reading the book out loud like I do when I read books to the kids.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

More Austin Powers than James Bond

We took the kids to see Cars 2 in the theatre over the Fourth of July weekend. Since then they have really been into pretending to be spies. The other day while they were playing, Reese screamed to Aidan, "Come here super secret spy!" Thankfully, I was the only one around so his secret identity is still safe!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Reese: "Mommy, I won't let Aidan into my bedroom until he marries me."

Me: "Honey, it is not him that I am worried about! Besides, I won't let any boys into your bedroom until one of them marries you!"

Family Pictures

Since our oldest child was born we have always gone to the photography studios that supplied instant gratification! We schedule an appointment, take some pictures and walk out 1 hour later with photos in hand to disperse to various family members.
A family friend recently started doing photography and I was so excited to try her out. Though it was nice in the past to have pictures taken and receive the prints the same afternoon, I was tired of the same old poses and backgrounds. Our family friend was willing to meet us anywhere we chose to do outdoor shots. We chose a local park, where the kids could run around and play. Though it took us about 2 hours to get all of the shots that we wanted, it was a lot less stressful for me not having to hold the kids down screaming and crying to take a picture in a blank white room. Without further adieu, here are our family portraits all courtesy of Lynn at Portraits by Lynn.

A totally impromptu moment where Reese grabbed Aidan in a big hug!

Randy and I looking at each other with googly eyes.

Family portrait

Love, love, love this one!

Pretty as a princess.

My handsome little prince.

There are so many more, I don't know how I am ever going to choose!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

My little feminist

We are doing a complete renovation of the outside of our house, new roof and siding. When the crew arrived to start work Reese must have noticed that they were all males. She asked me later, "Mommy, where are the girl construction?" I replied that unfortunately there were not any females that worked on this crew, but there are females that do get involved in this kind of work. Later that day Reese told me, "Mommy, after I go to school, I am going to build a house."

Monday, July 11, 2011


I had an appointment today, so I dropped the kids off at their grammy's for a few hours that included naptime. When I arrived to pick the kids up, grammy brought Aidan out from the room he was sleeping in and he had a binky in his mouth! He has not had his binky at home for several months and I thought that he would have completely forgotten about it, but I could not have been more wrong. I figured that maybe he found the paci in his bed, but Grammy reported that when she put Aidan to bed he asked for his paci, and not knowing whether or not he still used it at home, she gave it to him. Thankfully he did not ask for it at bedtime tonight!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Summertime 2011

It has been a jam packed summer so far! So jam packed, in fact, that we put a list of the things that we want to do on our chalkboard to make sure that we get to them all!

We spent the first few warm days lounging around grammy's pool.

Soon after Reese's birthday we bought a membership to Niabi Zoo. The kids ran from one exhibit to the next! We started in the petting zoo and worked our way through 1/2 of the zoo. We took a quick break to ride the train around the zoo and then made our way back to the exhibits we had missed.

Here the kids are in front of the lion cage. Unfortunately, I did not have my memory card and did not get many pictures! Thankfully with the membership we can go back as many times as we want over the next year.

That weekend, we went boating, as we usually do, but we also got out the tube.

Reese and daddy

Aidan and daddy

During a rainy day the next week, we decided to go to John Deere Commons in Moline to check out the tractors. The kids had a blast climbing into each of the different tractors on display and pretending to drive.

During our weekly boating trip that Sunday, the kids discovered the fun of jumping off of the back of the boat!

This activity keeps them entertained for hours!

Over the course of the rest of the month we also visited a local park, spent a few days with Grandma Potter, played at the beach, went to the races, and spent countless hours outside riding our bikes and fourwheelers and swinging in our own yard. Despite how busy we have been, we still have lots of activities left on our list, and only about 6 weeks left to do them in!